General Info > News Releases > News Releases 2011-12 > 08/08/2011: College Seeks Performers for Sophocles’ OEDIPUS


MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Contact:         Jim Mastin, Director of Public Information & Auxiliary Services





By Sophocles

Translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker

                         Directed by Reid Edelman

                         Choreography by Jenna Byrne


WHO:                Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department


WHEN:              Auditions will be held Monday August 22, 6-10 PM;

                         Call-backs will be August 23 & 24


WHERE:            MENDOCINO COLLEGE, Center Theatre

1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah.




College Seeks Performers for Sophocles’ OEDIPUS


          The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will hold auditions on Monday August 22 for the upcoming fall 2011 production of Oedipus Tyrannos, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s powerful adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles.  The production will be directed by Mendocino College theatre professor Reid Edelman, with choreography by dance instructor Jenna Byrne. 

           Oedipus is, perhaps, the most famous play ever written.  Originally performed around 426 BC, the play has helped define western drama and has been continuously reinterpreted in innumerable performances and adaptations over the millennia.  The play tells the story of how Oedipus, King of Thebes comes to confront his own fate and identity.  As the play opens, a plague is ravaging the town of Thebes.  An oracle declares that the plague will end only when a crime committed in the town is avenged.  Oedipus sets out to find the criminal. 

            Oedipus’ quest for justice leads him on a horrific journey of self discovery, one which continues to reverberate today as it has for over two thousand years.  Wertenbaker’s powerful modern adaptation sizzles with both emotional and intellectual intensity.  Wertenkaber has written and translated many plays, including her original play Our Country’s Good which was performed at Mendocino College in Fall 2009.  According to director Reid Edelman “Many translations of ancient Greek tragedies are written by scholars and fail to ignite as live theatre.  Wertenbaker is first and foremost a playwright, and her translation demonstrates great understanding of Sophocles’ classic as a living piece of compelling theatre.”

           Oedipus will feature original music by local sound designer David Wolf and dance choreography by college dance instructor Jenna Byrne.  College theatre technician Larry Lang will design the scenery and lighting.  Actors, dancers and singers are encouraged to audition, though not all roles will require dance and singing ability.   The play will run in the college’s Center Theatre October 21-30, 2011. 

           Interested performers should arrive at the college’s Center Theatre at 6 PM on Monday August 22 and plan on staying until 10 PM.  At the initial audition, performers will be asked to read various scenes from the play. No prior preparation or experience is required; however, those wishing to read the script in advance may borrow a perusal copy of the script at the Mendocino College Instruction Office on the Ukiah campus.   Some performers will be invited to attend additional call-back auditions on Tuesday August 23 and / or Wednesday August 24.  The cast will include 15-20 performers, including singers, dancers and actors.  There are 4-5 roles for children (boys ages 10-14 and girls ages 8-11); however, parents should be forewarned that the play’s subject matter is bloody and sexually charged. 


          The roles to be cast include:

          Oedipus:     male, 26-33, King of Thebes.  A hero who saved Thebes from the monstrous sphinx by solving her famous riddle.  An oracle has declared that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother.  His life is tragically defined by his efforts to avoid the oracle’s prediction.

          Tieresias:   male (possibly female), 40s or older.  Blinded in his youth, he has the gift of second sight.  His pronouncement that Oedipus is the criminal he seeks creates the major conflict in the play.

          Iocaste:     female, 40-48, wife (and mother) of Oedipus.  She believes that some truths are best left unknown.

          Kreon:        male, 40s-50s, brother to Iocaste.  Accused of treason by Oedipus. 

            Shepherd:  A shepherd from the house of Laios.  Male or female, 38 or older.   Has lived in exile since Oedipus came to Thebes after the death of Laios.

          1st messenger:           male or female, 38 or older.  A messenger from Korinth.  Also, a shepherd who rescued Oedipus many years earlier.        

2nd messenger:          male or female, 16 or older.  Retells the tragic end of Oedipus and Iocaste as witnessed offstage.  

          Choragos:  male or female, age 25 or older; the leader of the chorus; a respected citizen.

          Priest:        male or female, age 20 or older.  A religious and community leader in Thebes. 

          Ismene & Antigone: young daughters of Oedipus and Iocaste, 8-11 years old.       

          Polyneices & Eteocles: young sons of Oedipus and Iocaste, 12-14 years old.

          Chorus:      male or female, all ages; citizens of Thebes.  Singing and / or dancing ability will be helpful for these roles.



Rehearsals will begin in late August and continue until the

 show opens on October 21, 2011.  Performances will run through October 30, including a student matinee Tuesday October 25.  Several college courses are associated with the production, and all performers will need to register for a college production course and will receive college credit.

 In addition to the performance opportunities, numerous backstage production positions are available.   Crews are needed to build scenery, props and costumes, as well as to work as stage managers, light and sound operators and run-crew.


For those with a particular interest in learning to build costumes, there will be a costume construction course taught by Kathy Dingman Katz.  This class will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30-9:30 PM. 

 Perusal scripts are on reserve now in the Mendocino College Instruction Office.   For additional information about auditions, or to join the back-stage production team, contact Reid Edelman at (707) 468-3172 or e-mail

Created: September 26, 2011 @ 04:15 PM
Last Modified: July 31, 2012 @ 03:12 PM


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